Friday, March 20, 2009

Unfinished books

I once read, in a list of dos and don'ts for bloggers, that one should never post a blog entry apologizing for not having posted lately. So this isn't an apology--just wanting to check-in, touch base, and explain why I haven't posted lately. Long story short--I haven't read any books. Well, I haven't finished any books.

Things suddenly got very busy at work in February. We started two new programs--a science club and a Texas Bluebonnet Award book discussion club with accompanying blog--lost a couple of employees, got a booth at the annual Taste and Trade event, and worked on a grant application. With all that going on, I have found myself unable to focus on reading and now have a stack of unfinished books on my bedstand.

So what have I been trying to read but haven't finished? Here are a few examples:

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. I had been hearing a lot about the book even before the movie came out, but the trailers for the movie are what spurred me to check it out. I thought I would enjoy it, but I found it rather off-putting. The narrator's misunderstanding and mispelling of words ("Out-with" for Auschwitz) made him seem much younger than he was. The word that kept coming to my mind was "twee." I just could not keep reading it and don't think I'll pick it up again.

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott. This is a good book. This is a very well-written book. This is a heart-wrenching book. This book takes more thought than I can give it right now. If you're not familiar with it, it's told from the point of view of a girl who was abducted several years earlier and has lived with her abusive captor ever since. Now that she is getting too old for him, he wants her to find him his next victim. An episode of Flashpoint on CBS had a similar plotline at about the same time I started reading this but the episode paled in comparison to the book. I fully intend to finish this book, but I need to wait until I have the time and the focus to give it the attention it deserves.

Walkaway by Alden Carter. Andy is fed up with his alcoholic father and his dysfunctional family. He had a psychotic break last year and spent some time in the hospital. This year he just wants to walk away from it all. I was enjoying it, especially since it is set in Wisconsin, where my parents were from, but I put it down somewhere and can't remember where. This is not saying anything about the book's merits--merely showing how scattered my thoughts are.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I had barely started this book when a patron requested it. When it came back it, I tried again, but another patron requested it. It has come back again, and again I have checked it out. I am so looking forward to reading it this weekend (as long as I don't have to give it up to another patron before then.)

Fortunately, things are calming down now. The grant deadline was met, Taste and Trade was a big success, and the science club has turned out to be one of the more popular programs that I've done. The Bluebonnet Book Club is struggling a bit, but I'm hoping it will start to pick up during the summer. I need to finish these books (well, not the striped pajamas, but the other ones) and then there are so many new books coming in. I need to catch up with the Diversity Rocks! challenge, and my own self-imposed non-fiction challenge. I need a vacation to get this all done!


Anonymous said...

I'd encourage you not to pick up "boy in the striped pajamas" again. i did, wished i hadn't. i was unable to develop any sympathy for the narrator and the story was quite meaningless for me.

Irene J Harvey said...

I really enjoy reading your blog.
Your comments are true to yourself, and I admire that.
I also understand how other pressures can delay the return to updating your own blog. My recent update followed the same time scale as yours.
I am a new author of a children's book, for the under 8's.
Maybe you would look at my blog to see it you consider it worthy of your review.
I have signed up as a follower on your blog today and look forward to reading more about the books you are (or are trying to) read.
Irene J Harvey